Church of God News

Positive News of the Churches of God

November/December 2005, No. 26


In This Issue…


Feminist Bunk | Christmas Memories | Known But to God | Story of Two Wolves | Establishing the Children | Explanation of God | Church News | Feast of Tabernacles




Christmas... Or Xmas?


“Ho! Ho! Ho!” exclaims the jolly old man in a red suit. But what do elves, reindeer, and maxed-out credit cards have to do with the birth of Jesus?

“Hark! The herald angels sing.” “O little town of Bethlehem.” “Rudolph the red nosed.” Whoahhh! What does a reindeer with neon nostrils have to do with the birth of the world’s Savior?

Nothing, really, but such songs do bright­en the dreary days of December. Xmas is a delightful time for children of all ages. There’s shopping to do, a tree to decorate, a goose to be cooked, oohhhing and aahhhing at colorful lights along the streets and, of course, wondering what’s in the gaily-decorated packages with tags that say “From Mom and Dad,” “From Grandma,” and  “From Santa Claus.”

Despite its pre-Christian origin, I have no argument with those who want to participate in the gaiety of Xmas. (No, I don’t partici­pate.) It’s calling it Christmas that I’m against.

Your minister or priest will gladly tell you the birth of Jesus, who is called the Christ, did not occur in the dead of winter. So why should we celebrate it then? Shouldn’t we separate Christmas from Xmas, and celebrate Jesus’ birth in line with the Bible account? All the jollity would remain in Xmas, and the celebration of Jesus’ birth would take on the meaning it deserves.

“But we don’t really know when Christ was born,” you say. Believe it or not, the time of Jesus’ birth can be determined, but it takes a bit of Bible study, history, and common sense. Fortunately, the work has already been done for you.

The dating of Jesus’ birth begins in the Old Testament; the part of the Bible most of Churchianity says is irrelevant today. And the time of celebration is also recorded in the Old Testament, amid a group of holy days most people believe are only for the Jews.

What causes consternation among the preachers of Churchianity is that the New Testament continues the story, and there’s no way around it. And, in the end, history, the Bible, and good ol’ common sense combine to show Jesus was born on a warm autumn evening in September.

There’s another good reason to separate Xmas from the birth of Christ. Moses, through the inspiration of God, wrote about it thousands of years before Jesus was born. The Scripture says, “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise,” Deuteronomy 12:30.

The celebrations surrounding Xmas were around long before that warm September night in Bethlehem. But, as the Christian reli­gion gained momentum, a Church based in Rome — not the Biblical Church at Rome — began making converts of idol worshippers. How did they keep them? They did what God, through Moses, told them not to do. This new Church allowed their converts to bring in many of their traditions, and “Christianized” them. Among these was the Roman Saturn­alia, a hedonistic event in late December, designed to encourage the sun god to rise from the long, dreary days of winter, and to shine benevolently on the people for another year. How easy it was to change the sun god to the Son of God, and call the celebration Christmas or, more properly, Xmas.

So why do the Churches of today continue to combine Xmas and Jesus’ birth? Because it is tradition. But Jesus told the religious leaders of his day, “And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition,” Mark 7:9. What was the commandment of God, and how does it apply today? Don’t ask how the ungodly nations serve their gods, so you can do the same thing, calling it Christian (Deut­eronomy 12:30).

To discover the wonderful plan of God for mankind, study His Holy Days revealed in Leviticus 23:1-44, and consider whether you should eschew Xmas, and begin following the commandments of God. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,” Isaiah 55:8-9.

— by Leslie A. Turvey

© Used by permission



Why not?


Before I ever came into acquaintance with God’s laws, I had agreed to do whatever it was He commanded. That is all well and good. We all have similar stories and, ultimately, His laws are revealed to us and, by faith, we embark on a new and difficult but rewarding journey. But how were you intro­duced to the rules, laws, or commands, as we know them? Chances are we have all received a similar introduction to “The Way.”

Someone probably pointed out to you, maybe in a very authoritarian voice, that you must not eat pork or shellfish, or that God commands three tithes, or possibly he or she began to enumerate all 613 do’s and don’ts of Sabbath keeping. O.K. maybe I exaggerated a little on the last one.

That may even be the method you used to “instruct” someone who is seeking the truth. “Do it or else.” I much prefer the method of inducement given in Malachi.

Malachi 3:10-12, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Perhaps this approach would work best on people with a willing heart. Another example is the requirements of the Sabbath. You could emphasize the strict observance, or you could look on the blessings. Frankly it was not easy to keep the Sabbath at first. You become restless and fidgety knowing you have a lot of work or other activities. The blessings be­come apparent after years of practice.

We could tell others of our wonderful experiences and blessings we have received in Sabbath observance. Would it be to every­one’s advantage to focus on the blessing rather than the (supposed) burden? The Sabbath represents freedom.

To illustrate the point, there were two books written by Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi. One, From Sabbath to Sunday, an excellent book in it’s own right, deals primarily with the technicalities and origins of the Sabbath. Divine Rest for Human Restlessness dwells on the good news, benefits, and blessings of the Sabbath. This is a book that should be read by all Sabbath keepers, and either can be ordered from Giving and Sharing, 3316 Alberta Drive, Gillette, WY 82718 for a donation of $15.

The truth is always the truth, but it can come in different flavors. If the truth were a bad tasting medicine or bitter pill, I would want to make it as palatable as possible. All God’s laws are good and need no “sugar coating.” Would people today like to hear some good news? They don’t get much of that today. Sure, our God is a loving God. All Churches teach that, but the whole truth is that He also demands fealty. People today have an aversion to submitting to anyone. I would characterize it as an attitude problem: “Nobody is going to tell me what to do.” That’s the beauty of Gods way. He tells us what to do, but allows us to make the choice. Of course, His blessings come from obedience. The other way is a bit risky, even deadly in the long run. Luke sums it up this way, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:9-13.

There may be a lesson here in raising our own chil­dren, sadly that may be too late for most of us. At least consider it when you are given your “rod of iron” in the Kingdom.

 — by Steven Kieler

Helpful Hint…


Freezer Meals


I have changed my system for labeling homemade freezer meals. I used to carefully note in large clear letters, “Meatloaf,” or “Pot Roast,” or “Steak and Vegetables,” or “Chicken and Dumplings,” or “Beef Pot Pie.”

However, I used to get frustrated when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner because he never asked for any of those things. So, I decided to stock the freezer with what he really likes.

If you look in my freezer now, you’ll see a whole new set of labels. You’ll find dinners with neat little tags that say: “Whatever,” “Anything,” “I Don t Know,” “I Don’t Care,” “Something Good,” or “Food.” My frustration is now reduced because no matter what my husband replies when I ask him what he wants for dinner, I know that it is there waiting.

 — author unknown






I thank you, Lord, for this beautiful, beautiful day, And for even one more chance to kneel and pray.

I thank you, Lord, for this love I deeply feel

And for the strength it gives me to climb each upward hill.

I thank you, Lord, for all the goodness each day I see, And goodness, just like light, will not let the darkness be!

I thank you, Lord, for the truth that you’ve revealed, to me and to the world — there was nothing concealed.

I thank you, Lord; for the power to overcome Satan, But if I should weaken at all — I know that he’ll be waiting.

Your righteousness and mercy are what carries me on, and one day it will carry me to my kingdom home.

I’m so thankful, Lord, that you’ve called me out to serve, To walk and talk in your ways on life’s long and winding curves.

I know that I’m now being groomed for an exciting future date, When Christ shall come back again, and I no longer have to wait.

Eye hath not seen, nor hath entered into the heart of man, all the things we shall inherit in God’s great master plan!

But we know it will be the grandest — more than we can ever conceive, and, because God has said it, we can surely believe!

Many people love money, and the things that it will buy, but their lives are empty and barren — just as the desert is dry!

My praises I could surely sing every minute of every day, just because of my great God who has led me all the way.

My delight is in the law of God that shows me when I’m wrong, For God is my refuge and defense, and it’s He who makes me strong.

Yes, I’m very, very thankful that I can be so blessed, and I’m really looking forward to that eternal Sabbath rest!

— by Santa Fe Parton




Feminist Bunk


Some years ago a British officer, Sir John Glubb, wrote a pamphlet on the rise and fall of empires. A sure sign of an empire’s decline and impending fall was, he said, the rise of feminism.

I believe he is right. Of all the corrosive, nonsensical and damaging movements that have come and gone in American society, none has caused more damage than feminism. Thank God it now seems to be falling out of favor.

It goes without saying that no country can be strong without strong families, and femin­ism directly attacked the very concept of families. It urged young women to slut around. If men are promiscuous, why shouldn’t women be? That alone shows the degree of stupidity that is characteristic of the feminist movement. That’s why the feminists bear responsibility for the plight of so many single mothers.

Rules that conform to nature produce positive results. Rules that conflict with nature produce bad results. Through the cen­turies, Western Civilization developed some rules that took into account the natural differences between men and women. The male is by nature promiscuous. Sex to the male is like eating a good meal — an enjoyable experience but one you can get up and walk away from without any thought. The woman, designed by nature to be a mother and susceptible to becoming pregnant, invests much more emotion in it.

So society, to protect women, develops rules to discourage promiscuity by both sexes. Even in my day, the rule was iron-tight. If you got a girl pregnant, you married her. No debate. No excuses. If you abandoned her and the baby, you were a worthless, lowdown dog. There were also social penalties against the girl who slept around. These rules weren’t 100 percent effective, but they definitely put a restraint on the libido. There were far fewer teen pregnancies and single moms than there are now.

But the feminists dismantled these rules. Women are just like men, they said. You pick your own guys to sleep with and walk away when you’re finished. Sex is for recreation. Well, anybody but a stupid feminist would have realized that the group that welcomed that message the most was the males. When females started saying, “Let’s have sex with no obligations,” the male said, “You betcha.”

Of course a necessary ingredient of feminist-promoted promiscuity is abortion on demand, since no method of birth control is 100 percent effective. This has literally led to the deaths of more innocents than the Holocaust. And for what reason? Simply as an adjunct to recreational sex without respon­sibility.

Another stupid thing feminists did was attack motherhood and make it seem that working was the better choice. Anybody with life experience knows that it is 100 times more difficult and requires more intelligence and more energy to be a good wife and mother than to perform any corporate job. Corporations run themselves. Families don’t. Most of the jobs men do no sensible woman would want to do.

As for the kids — those who escape the garbage dump behind the abortion clinic — they’re forced to play against a stacked deck. Any child who spends his babyhood and toddler years in day care and then comes home to an empty house in his older years is going to suffer. Sometimes there’s no help for it, but the feminist movement has absolutely encouraged it.

You will notice that I’ve said nothing about equal pay for equal work or the right to vote. Those are civil rights and have nothing to do with feminist ideology.

Feminism has given bad advice to women and encouraged the worst behavior in men. Arnold Schwarzenegger is right: It encour­ages the development of girly men. That’s probably why empires fall.

The rule is simple: Anything that encourages strong families is good; anything that weakens or destroys families is bad. And let’s cut the bunk about families being any grouping you want to call a family. A family is a man and woman and their children. The hysterical harpies of feminism who tolerate chauvinist rogues like Bill Clinton while getting hysterical over any perceived threat to their beloved abortion industry should be relegated to the far-out fringes of the fruit-loop dump.

— by Charley Reese

With permission

© C. King Features Syndicate


Origin of…


Hello is one of the most frequently used words in the English language, but its use was not recorded until about 1883. In the form hallow, its earliest ancestor, the word dates back to 1340 and was used by Chaucer. The word is probably derived from hallo-er, an Old French word meaning “to pursue crying or shouting.” Hello came into fashion with the invention of the telephone in the 19th century.




What Kind of Christmas Memories Does God Have?


[Does God care that Christmas has a pagan (non-Christian) origin? After all, doesn’t the use of Xmas to celebrate Jesus’ birth OK since we use it to worship Him? What does this holiday mean to God?]

Every year at Christmas time, articles appear in various newspapers across the country about the origins of Christmas. They are not meant to shock or discourage anyone from its celebration. To the contrary, the public finds the pagan origins quaintly inter­esting. The articles usually close with a local clergyman advocating less commercialism and stressing the need to put Christ back into Christmas.

Millions of people know that holidays like Christmas and Easter have pagan origins, but it doesn’t really matter to them because they don’t “celebrate it that way.” As long as they are mainly celebrating the birth and resur­rection of Jesus with only a little bit of Santa Claus or the Easter bunny “for the kids” then God understands.

These holidays are filled with years of sights, smells and sounds of good feelings going back to one’s childhood. The good times at Grandma’s house, the taste of eggnog and the lilt of carols all engender deep emo­tional feelings.

Been There, Felt That

While the Bible doesn’t show the apostles celebrating any of these days, the holidays are authenticated and validated for most by the experience and our intuition. In other words, there is so much joy, love of family, and praise to the Lord that God obviously approves these traditions to honor Him. Like the song says, “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right....” Who cares about Nimrod, Ishtar, sun worshipers, or Saturnalia when you’ve got Bing Crosby, Mom, apple pie, and warm fuzzies. The reasoning is that God must feel good about Christmas and Easter because we feel good about them. We have fond mem­ories, so God must have fond memories. Or does He?

The pagan origin of these days bears little significance to most people because there is no memory of paganism. Who or what is a Nimrod, and who cares? Pagan is a mean­ingless word, and nothing seems pagan today. Whatever can be remotely called pagan is usually referred to as a quaint native custom, and people like to take pictures of it while they’re on a tour.

Our memories of December 25th may invoke thoughts of Grandma, the smell of evergreen and sounds of sleigh bells all over a backdrop of a 19th-century Charles Dickens or Currier & Ives setting. What about the thousands of years prior to the 19th century?

What are God’s memories?

God does have a memory, and it goes far beyond our own, for He “inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). We need to expand our universe into His. For example, if I were to tell my 9-year-old daughter that we’re going to choose December 7th to honor the Japanese, she might think that is wonderful. Should she announce this to her grandfather who fought in the Pacific during WWII, she would probably come back to me and ask what a day of infamy meant. Her universe would expand a little bit into Grandpa’s, and in deference to Grandpa’s feelings, we would choose a different day to honor the Japanese. The same might be said for a little Japanese girl from Hiroshima wanting to honor Americans on August 6th.

To young children, WWII is like ancient history. Early events of this century are beyond the scope of their universe and mem­ory. Events of that era are only read about or known in old black-and-white silent news­reels in which the people “walked kinda fast.”

The Real Face of Civil War

Many of us a few years ago, were very moved by the public-television special by Ken Burns on the American Civil War. It wasn’t anything like the textbook memor­ization of our school days about who won the Battle of Bull Run. Instead, we saw faces of real people who looked like us and had feel­ings like we do. Through the narration of actual letters from the front, we wanted to know if the soldier ever made it back to his “beloved Sarah.”

We barely touched the Civil War soldiers’ experience from afar. God saw them all in living color. He heard the cannon’s roar at Pickett’s charge, and the clash of steel on steel. He also knows the weight and texture of a Roman soldier’s cloak. He knows what the apostle Paul’s favorite food was, and He knows the ambient temperature inside a prison on the Isle of Patmos. History (“His story”) is all very real to God, and to Him, to whom a thousand years is like a day (II Peter 3:8), these events all happened only yester­day.

What if most of God’s memory about December 25th or certain other holidays included the sounds of chanting before idols, human orgies and later the sight of Christians being persecuted? The wicked men who first selected these days to honor their gods or themselves, and the Roman Christians who later accepted the same days for worshiping God were all real people. Their world was just as real to them as ours is to us. They had names, and so did those who died because they rejected the pagan world. Men may forget massacres and martyrdoms after a few generations, but God remembers. He still hears their voices under the altar crying out for justice (Revelation 6:9, 10).

So in the panorama of human history, what might be God’s memory of “the holidays?” Again, since pagan festivals like the Saturnalia mean nothing to most people today, and historical names like Nimrod or Tammuz have no significance, I would like to tell a story. It’s about something that never happened, and it employs a time-culture switch with the ancient world only to drive home a point.

One Upon a Time

The year is 1937 in Nazi Germany, and the Churches are in trouble. The Lutheran Church is losing young members of the Luther League who want to join the more flamboyant Hitler Youth. The Adventists are failing in business because they are seen to outwardly resemble the Jews in their Sabbath observance. Not all the Churches are falter­ing, however, since some Church leaders are advocating a few changes.

Some of the ministers reason that, to win the young people back to Christ, the Church needs to make a few minor modifications. For example, Hitler’s birthday falls on April 20, and there are celebrations throughout Ger­many on that day. Since nobody knows when Jesus was born, they select April 20 as the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Also, by adding a few short nooks to the cross, it can now look strikingly like a swastika; only they will call it the cross of Christ.

The number of members coming back to Church increases greatly with each change they make. Their families now march around the cross of Christ with their right arms fully extended to glorify the Lord. Sure, they look a lot like any other Nazi family down the street, but the Church was now growing again. Celebrating the resurrection of the Lord will also happen to fall on the anniversary of the rise of the Third Reich. Needless to say, the Churches that adapted to the new Germany thrive, while those that refuse to compromise are severely persecuted and scattered.

After the war, all of the customs and trappings of those days continue. Hundreds of years later, people still celebrate the birth of Jesus on April 20. They set up the cross of Christ in their living room while the families extend their right hands to salute it.

It is a wonderful time. The children make little cookie people, the ones with the six-pointed star of Bethlehem on their chests, and bake them in their ovens. There is some mythology about the man with a funny mus­tache who knows if you’ve been naughty or nice, but mainly it is a religious holiday. Sometimes many families get together and build a big bonfire. An honored family mem­ber carries the cross of Christ with all of its banners attached to the pole. Everyone marches around the bonfire to the tune of “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken” while their right arms are fully extended to salute the cross and praise the Lord Jesus.

One day a man comes to Church and tries to tell them about the origin of their holidays. They don’t seem shocked at all. To them terms like Nazi, holocaust and Hitler are meaningless. It doesn’t matter what happened centuries before anyway, because they are worshiping the Lord. Their memories of past April 20s are filled with love and joy. Songs of gladness are sung as they bake the little cookie people in the ovens. Life is good, and God must be pleased. Then the man posed a question to them: What are God’s holiday memories?

Closer To Home

Would any Christian today doubt the need to tell the characters in the preceding story about the origins of their Christmas? How would God feel about choosing, of all days, the birth of Adolph Hitler to represent the birth of His son? How would God feel about the day symbolizing the resurrection of the Third Reich to represent Jesus’ resurrection?

How would He feel about the cross that He bled on symbolized in a swastika or people giving it the Nazi salute? What about the little cookie people with the six-pointed star of Bethlehem on their chests that were baked in the ovens? Wouldn’t people want to know how that custom got started?

Surprisingly, those in this story would probably give the same responses as to why it is okay to celebrate their April 20 Christmas as those do today who want to keep their December 25 Christmas: “We’ve always had Christmas on that date, and, besides, it does not really matter what day you choose.” “It’s good for the children.” “We try to keep the commercialism down and emphasize the birth of Jesus.” “God understands our hearts, and we get so much out of these days.” “We just put a little cross of Christ in our home, nothing fancy or elaborate.” “Mom would really be disappointed if we didn’t appreciate all the work she put into this day.”

Something Wrong with You

Try as you might to convince them otherwise, these hypothetical people would inhabit their own little universe. Every reason people give today to rationalize the celebra­tion of December 25 would be thrown right back at you.

To those in the story, April 20 is abso­lutely wonderful. Christmas to them is almost magical in its beauty “and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:14).

To them the spirit of Christmas equates with the spirit of giving. To be against their Christmas is to be against giving, so there must be something wrong with you. You must not even care about the needy.

So powerful would be the allure of the April 20 Christmas that even millions of atheists would put up the lights to join the party or put “Heather” in the play. Try as you might, you could not convince them that all the Nazi origins of the day should keep them from celebrating now.

The only way people will see through all the tinsel of this economic piece of Babylon that literally drives the Western economies is to have their hearts turned toward God. Those who are Christ’s will seek to look at things from His perspective and not their own. It doesn’t matter that it looks good, smells good, tastes good, sounds good, or that most of the world is celebrating it. It doesn’t matter what Christmas means to me or my kids or my mom or my boss, for what it means to God is the most important opinion of all. His thoughts, memories, and feelings don’t re­volve around mine.

In a Christian’s life, Jesus is real and has a daily impact on the decisions that are made. To most in this world, Jesus is pictured either away in a manger, dead on a cross, or dwel­ling “two stars to the right and straight on ‘til morning” in a heavenly never-never land. To most, He is a God of convenience but not someone you actually serve or seek advice from. “He must like this holiday because I do, and my minister gives his approval. Surely, all of these Churches couldn’t be wrong.”

This holiday’s broad appeal to this world should be a warning flag to a Christian. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it,” Matthew 7:13-14.

After warning about false prophets, Jesus also went on to say in verse 21: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

Church Blending with Paganism

To the apostles, the will of God did not include Christmas or anything like it. This all came much later when the apostate Church grew by blending in with the pagan Roman world. By placing the Lord’s name on pagan practices, they deceived people into thinking they could keep their old ways and call it the Lord’s will. Satan succeeded in deceiving virtually the whole world at that time into taking the broad way of doing things that are contrary to God’s will (Revelation 12:9).

The will of God has to be the central point in how we worship Him. Jesus spoke about members of the religious community in His day who were in their own little universe and said they were worshiping Him, but all in vain, because of their man-made traditions (Mark 7:7-8). In John 4:23-24, Jesus said that “the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Both those in the above story, and those in the mainstream of Christianity today don’t understand that Christmas is a lie or that Christ was never in it. The mind of Christ won’t mix righteousness with unrighteousness or light with darkness (II Corinthians 6:14-16). “Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, sayeth the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you,” Verse 17.

God’s people are to come out of Babylon. You can’t take the customs of a day dedicated to a demon, sprinkle some holy water on it, and now say it’s dedicated to Jesus; or then centuries later say its origin doesn’t really matter.

Less Abominable With Time?

Would that terrible act be an abomination only to the actual perpetrators, but in each succeeding generation become less and less terrible until God finally likes it? If 100 years from now the great-grandchildren of a Satanist learn that the portrait of Jesus above the mantle was really a portrait of Charles Manson, should they just shrug it off because they don’t think of it that way, or it’s good for the children, or Mom loved the painting?

God has a memory. Those who are His want to honor and worship Him in truth. According to His Word, how we choose to do so is important to Him. God tells us not to learn the ways of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:2) or inquire about how pagan nations serve their gods.

You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way (Deuteronomy 12:31).

The broad, easy path that this world loves is paved with good intentions, but it leads to destruction. The decisions we make in life as Christians aren’t to be based on how we feel, or Mom feels, but how God feels. That’s what you do to truly honor the one you love above all others.

 — by Lee Lisman





Of Interest…


The Year 1905


Maybe this will boggle your mind. I know it did mine! The year is 1905 one hundred years ago.

What a difference a century makes!

Here are some of the U.S. statistics for 1905:

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennes­see were each more heavily populated than California.

With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education.

Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard.”

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza

2. Tuberculosis

3. Diarrhea

4. Heart disease

5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented.

There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drug­stores.

According to one pharmacist, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years — it staggers the mind.

 —  author unknown



Known But To God


Nestled in northeast France, Chalons-sur-Marne is a picture postcard waiting to be stamped and mailed.

At least, it is today.

But it hasn’t always been. Situated near the French-German border, the picturesque hamlet has often been under siege. In A.D. 451, for example, it was the place where Attila and his Huns suffered ignominious defeat at the hands of the Romans and Visigoths. During World War II the Germans used the Chalons-sur-Marne prison as an assembly station for deportations.

This is a town that knows all about paying tribute to those who have fallen in combat. After all, it has been doing so for millennia. So it seems somehow appropriate that one of America’s most enduring military memorials began 83 years ago in Chalons-sur-Marne.

On an autumn day in 1921, four caskets lay in state in the Hotel de Ville, which also served as the Chalons-sur-Marne City Hall. Within these caskets were the mortal remains of four unidentified American soldiers who had lost their lives — and, somehow, their respective identities — on French battlefields during World War I. Because of his out­standing service record, Sergeant Edward F. Younger of the 59th Infantry was given the task of choosing one of these four caskets to be transported to Washington, D.C., to be interred with honor in Arlington National Cemetery as America’s Unknown Soldier.

Sgt. Younger was well aware of the sig­nificance of his duty. He had served valiantly during World War I, which had ended with the signing of the Armistice ending hostilities on Nov. 11, 1918. He had seen scores of his comrades-in-arms fall during battle. At night, when he tried to sleep, he could still see their anguished, contorted faces, and he could still hear their agonizing cries and screams. There were many of that number whose bodies had never been recovered, or couldn’t be identi­fied.

“Were any of them here?” he wondered as he walked around the caskets three times. As he started around for the fourth time, he said he felt “involuntarily drawn” to the second one. So he solemnly marched toward it, gently laid a bouquet of white roses upon it, saluted and then turned to report to his commanding officer that his mission had been accomplished.

On Nov. 11, 1921, America’s Unknown Soldier was laid to rest with all the pomp and circumstance a grateful nation could muster. In those days before DNA testing and other modern developments, it was unfortunately not usual to be unable to provide absolute identification of fallen soldiers. So this sol­dier, whoever he was, represented not just the four whose caskets lay in state in Chalons-sur-Marne, but also thousands of other sol­diers from other wars who gave everything — even their very identities — so that friends, family members, and countless unknown others could enjoy the safety and security of the freedoms we now enjoy.

 Do you see the irony of that? We refer to these soldiers as “unknown,” but in fact they WERE known — deeply and intimately — by loved ones who missed them desperately when they failed to return from war. The real “unknowns” in this equation is us — “we, the people” for whom they died. They didn’t know us. Most had no connection to us what­soever. And yet they fought and died for us, — known or unknown — and for something they believed in. Something greater than self. Something more precious, even, than a man’s own good name: freedom

Which is why I appreciate the sentiment of the inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — “Here rests in honored glory an American Soldier Known but to God” — but I don’t buy it. I feel like I know this guy, and other “unknowns” of his gener­ation and others. I know what they stood for. I know what they fought for. I know what they died for, even if I don’t know their names.

— by Joseph Walker

With permission

© Creators Syndicate




The Story of Two Wolves


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is be­tween two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevo­lence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee sim­ply replied, “The one you feed.”


So You Think You Know Everything?…


There are only four words in the English language that end in “dous”:  tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

 Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.


Establishing the Children…


The Holiday Season


Now that the fall holyday season is past the world’s biggest winter holiday is fast approaching. Surely everyone by now realizes that Christmas ads start running right after Halloween is over (or sometimes right after the kids start back to school in the fall). As soon as the stores can get rid of all the costumes, masks and the rest of the weird items associated with this pagan holiday, decorated Christmas trees, lights and other holiday related items suddenly appear everywhere, as if by magic. The rush is on and the stores are competing for your business (your money)!

My question is, “Whatever happened to the Thanksgiving holiday; the one day a president set aside for the nation to honor God and thank Him for all the rich blessings He has poured out upon this nation?” Abraham Lincoln thought it was important enough to establish a national holiday to do just that. Thankfully, it has not become too com­mercialized so not many ads deal with this holiday. After all, people don’t buy gifts, new clothes or other items for this particular day; it’s just a day for feasting, filling up our stomachs with turkey and all the trimmings. No complaint there; but how many families actually use this day to reflect upon their blessings and give thanks to a loving God for blessing them with so much?

In the Churches of God, people are thankful for their blessings. After just coming through the Feast of Tabernacles in which much time has been set aside to thank God and honor Him with our presence at the Feast, we still should have enough thankfulness left over to take one more day to be thankful to our Creator. This is one holiday we can share with our family (most of them are not in the Church).

Make a Family Tradition


In our family, which includes about 30-40 people, this is the one day we can all come together, have a delicious meal (with all the trimmings) and fellowship with each other. There is always a prayer of thanksgiving before the meal, candles are lit, and the feast begins. We try to do something just a little different each year with the children. One year we had the kids write on a vinyl tablecloth with a black marker what they wanted to be when they grew up. Another year we had everyone, including the kids, draw their handprints on a vinyl tablecloth, but they had to use their imagination and turn their handprint into a creation. There were handprints that looked like turkeys, faces, cars, etc. Another idea is to have everyone write on a tablecloth what they are thankful for that year. We always put the year on these tablecloths and bring them out every once in a while so we can all take a look at them again. This is a wonderful family tradition for us and it has helped our family to remain close. We all look forward to this day every year, adults as well as the children. Of course, plenty of pictures are taken and Thanksgiving albums are made and brought back in later years for viewing. This is our family tradition each year and we find it keeps us closer to each other and at the same time it’s a day we come together and are thankful for all our blessings. Make Thanksgiving a special day for your family and start your own traditions.

— by Shelby Faith

Lesson and Activity for Thanksgiving Day


1. Go around the room to each person and have them share what they are thankful for or pass out paper and pens and ask each person to write down 10 things they are thankful for.

2. Hand out a sheet of paper with the word “Thanksgiving” at the top of the paper. Have people try to make as many words from that word as they can come up with. (You may want to give a small award for the winner, or top winners.)

3. Ask what is the definition of “Thanks­giving.”

4. If you have a computer, make a letter size design on a sheet of paper (make sure the page setup is set for “landscape” instead of “portrait” so that when it is printed it will come out horizontally. Design a border around the sheet and in the middle choose a graphic that depicts the Thanksgiving theme (example: a bowl of fruit, a horn of “plenty,” etc.). Print out the page in black/white and make as many copies as you will need. Have the children color them and pass them out as place mats to each person. The children can write names on the place mats.

5. If using this for a Thanksgiving lesson, have the children look up the following scriptures and have them write down these scriptures of thanksgiving: Psalm 107:1, Psalm 105:1, Philippians 4:6, Daniel 2:23, I Tim­othy 2:1, Colossians 4:2, I Thessa­lonians 5:18, and Psalm 100:4. (For older children, have them look up the word “thanksgiving” in a concordance and see how many scriptures they can come up with.)




Shirley the Squirrel


This is a story about Shirley the squirrel

Who lives in a house at the top of the world?

She really lives in the top of a tree

But it’s very high and far away to me.

Me, I’m Tiny, the little wood mouse

I live near the bottom in an acorn shell house.

Shirley wears a red gingham dress and a little red hat,

She sweeps and she cleans a big “Welcome” mat.

Each day as the sound of the clock strikes three

She calls out, “Tiny, it’s time for tea!”

Up the tree I scurry real fast

Having tea there with Shirley is really a blast.

She makes me feel welcome. She listens to me

And we talk for hours in that giant oak tree.

The games that we play there are wonderful fun

We forget about time till the setting of sun.

Then we bid each other a fond good night.

May the good Lord keep us till morning is light.

— by: Santa Fe Parton

For Children Everywhere



Explanation of God


One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things here on earth. He doesn’t make grown ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way, He doesn’t have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV on account of this. Since He hears everything, not only prayers, there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off. God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere, which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting His time by going over your parent’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.

Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in Chula Vista. At least, there aren’t any who come to our Church.

Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water, performing miracles, and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them, and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind like His father, and He told His Father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them. God said OK. His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth, so he told Him He didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers, and seeing which things are important for God to take care of, and which ones He can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important, of course.

You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to hear you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time. You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God. Don’t skip Church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong! And, besides, the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp. But God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared in the dark, or when you can’t swim very good and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases. That’s why I believe in God.

 — by Danny Dutton, age 8

Chula Vista, CA

Rules of Forgiveness


The person wanting forgiveness must:

1. Take responsibility for his action.

2. Have real remorse.

3. Repair, to the best of their ability, the damage they caused.

4. Commit not to repeat it.

5. Ask for forgiveness.




 “The Quiet Sermon”


[What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say — Ralph Waldo Emerson.]

A Church member, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his preachers visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone.

Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

The Preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in Church next Sabbath.”

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. [Or giving sermons which are pointed toward innocent members while elevating the self.]

Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

 — submitted by Craig White


News Item…


COG Mountain View, AR


The Church of God Mountain View, AR have recently gotten our website up and going. You may visit at:

We want to share the information below with you and add that you can also now dial this same number to join a weekly live service on the Sabbath day. You can dial in starting at 1 pm, but the actual sermon does not start until after our local congregational hymn (it does not broadcast very well) and our local announcements, which are usually around 1:15 pm to 1:30 pm. Wayne Holmes or Tim Hall usually gives the sermon for the Sabbath Day.

We have been joining in for the Monday and Friday night messages for quite some time, but the live services started only a few weeks ago. The Saturday Sabbath service is intended for those who cannot attend services for some reason. We have found the Friday and Monday night studies to be very worthwhile and Biblical.

The phone number to call is 641-594-7500. At the welcome, dial 729865# at 8 pm Central time. Remember every Monday evening at 8 pm Central time is the interactive Bible Study. If you have a question for the ministers, please e-mail them at:

You may also request a copy of the Friday night transcripts at the Simple Answers Website:

 — by Wayne & Rhonda Holmes


Church News…


Church of God Seventh Day


There have been apostate groups and individuals within CG7 for the past 20 years that have lost their conviction about the Sabbath, but most have left the Church. One of the most recent was just a few years ago in which a California congregation split, with the Sunday leaning group finally dissolving and joining local Sunday Churches.

What has changed on an official basis within CG7, is the teaching today that Sabbath is only a secondary issue or as they like to say, a “distinctive” that has no bearing on the core beliefs of Christianity. In that kind of environment, I expect we will see many more such apostate groups forming within the Church, and whether they continue to leave or finally organize within the Church is a serious question.

My own prediction is that in the end time, most Sabbatarian Churches will buckle under severe pressure from both inside and outside forces, and allow a mixture of Sunday and Sabbath observing congregations within their midst, to avoid persecution and censure by dictatorial governments that will soon return to the Western world in a time of great crisis. That is when Revelation 18:4 will come into play in a special way, to separate the goats from the sheep, and who will escape the final end time plagues and who will not.

 — by anonymous COG 7th Day member


Church News…



I thought you would be interested in my 2nd visit to the CGI last Sabbath.

Anyway, I was very warmly greeted when I visited and told in no uncertain terms afterwards that I should come more often! Man, I felt very welcome and part of the family. What a joy to be in an environment like that!

It interesting that the opening prayer asked for God to be with all the various Church of God groups and for unity. It is their tradition to kneel down for the opening prayer (similar to the COG7 as I understand it).

The following sermon was on unity and what it really means in scripture. It included the concept of the spirit of cooperation. Also, how CGI refuses to bad mouth other groups, but would like to cooperate. Apparently they have tried to cooperate with several groups but often it doesn’t work out due to personalities. In any event, they have com­menced cooperation with Church of God, Worldwide Ministries on certain projects and it all looks positive. Let there be more such cooperation between groups.

I might add here that back in 1995/96 I sent my guidelines for cooperation amongst similar groups (how we can cooperate without having to merge administrations, at least, not initially):

1. Speak positively about each other in sermons and privately,

2. Do not discourage members to visit each other’s groups.

3. Invite elders to speak occasionally to each other’s groups.

4. Link websites.

5. Have quality booklets from other groups in one’s own local COG and HQ libraries.

6. Where feasible, hold FOT sites close to each other so that members can fellowship etc., etc.

— Regards, Craig White

Church News...



A little over two years ago at the Churches of God Outreach Conference, John Walsh conceived the idea of an organization that would assist others outside the USA with their efforts in the Work of God. Of course, this organization would check the creditability of those who apply for financial assistance.

After two years, with the assistance of many friends, he is now operating the organization known as ACTNET, which helps spread the gospel overseas. Even though it has just begun, it is helping at least three individuals in foreign countries.

To set up this organization, he sought counsel from many in the Church who have worked with other Church groups in similar projects. Many legal issues had to be covered.

ACTNET is a non-profit group started by a lay member in the Church of God, and is supported by a few Church members who donate a part of their tithe/offerings to assist in this effort.

This is one of many examples of what God can do with His people if they have the drive and will to assist others.

For more information, you are welcome to contact John Walsh at 1532 Third Street, Napa, CA 94559.

 — by Doyle Carter

From Australia


Summary of the Hermon Children’s Home Tahan Myanmar



In August 1998, CESA (Christian Educational Services Inc. Australia) was asked to send Youth Educational Adventure lessons to a pastor in Myanmar (formerly Burma) who was involved in running an orphanage for around 20 children. Over the years we developed a friendship with Pastor Chhunhranga of the Apostolic Church of God 7th Day of Myanmar. In November 2000, CESA coordinated some funds to build a new orphanage after the Myanmar Government forced the evacuation of the entire town where the orphanage was located. The country has been run by a variety of military juntas since 1960. The military dictatorship has suppressed and imprisoned the 1990 democratically elected government.

Pastor Chhunhranga Orphanage Summary

Pastor Chhunhranga is 58 years old and has three daughters and one son. Neither his house nor the orphanage is connected to the power grid or the telephone; they simply cannot afford it, although they do have a generator for the orphanage.

There are 24 orphans, 10 girls and 14 boys that range in age from 6 to 17. Most have been in the orphanage from when it started in 1997, although five children have been admitted this year. They attend school in Tahan and seem to be getting a reasonable education. The orphanage uses 20kg of rice per day, which is almost a kg per child! I knew rice was the staple diet in Asia but that is a lot of rice! It costs about $4 per day to purchase this rice, or $1,460 per year.

Relationship with Canadian Apostolic Church of God 7th Day

Pastor Chhunhranga has 15 members in his congregation, The Apostolic Church of God 7th Day of Myanmar. His is the only congregation of this Church there, and was established in 1984 when a group of evangelists from Canadian based Apostolic Church of God 7th Day visited Myanmar. The Apostolic Church of God 7th Day is based in Canada and started about 55 years ago.

Pastor Chhunhranga appears to keep all the Festivals of God, and intends to keep the Feast of Tabernacles again in Tahan in 2005. The Canada based Apostolic Church of God 7th Day however only keep the Sabbath and Lords Supper but not the other Feasts. It appears that the Canadian group does not mind him thinking differently from them, but I am also not sure that they understand that he keeps the festivals.

The Apostolic Church of God 7th Day in Langley, British Colombia wrote to me saying, “We pay him (Pastor Chhunhranga) and his assistant Pastor a yearly allowance, plus $240.00 Canadian per child per year.” I have taken on the responsibility of finding parents through our sponsorship program for H.C.H. there are now 8 boys without parents. Pastor Johnstone and his wife have visited the Church and orphanage in Tahan, Feb 2004 and 2005 and stayed in Myanmar two weeks. They have also built a Church building, the “Saunders Memorial Church” and are now in the process of building a school on the 1-acre Orphanage compound. All the children go to the government schools at present which they must attend on Sabbath, so the Canadians have decided to build a school in order for the children to be able to keep the Sabbath. They intend that the school will pay for itself from tuition fees raised from the community members attending.

Pastor Chhunhranga also visited Langley Church in Canada in 2003 for the 50th Anniversary of the Apostolic Church of God 7th Day. We can see that there is a very strong relationship with Canada and therefore any work that we do would be best coordinated with them so as not to overlap.

Bible Seminar Conducted in 1999

The orphanage has had some support from people in the USA, the Bredehoft Family, whom I have just today spoken with on the phone. He has not been able to help since 2003 as the USA government has stopped all funds going to Myanmar. The Bredehoft Family, among other donations they have provided, helped fund a Bible Seminar in 1999 where Pastor Chhunhranga invited members of the local community. He is very enthusiastic for the Sabbath and an audience of up to 100 people heard him preach on the value of the Sabbath. He says, “The Sunday keepers hate us.”

Communication with Burma and Canada.

Pastor Chhunhranga’s English is often awkward and hard to understand. However, there are five official languages in Burma, with eight major cultural groups. We now communicate via E-mail, although he does not have a computer at his home as he has no power. I think he uses a local business in town which costs about $l US dollar each time he sends an e-mail.

Goals and Projects of CESA

CESA has received donations of $3000 that has been sent to the orphanage in the last few weeks. This money is to be used to build a rice storage granary and fill it with rice for one year. It appears that the way to buy rice is in bulk when it is inexpensive at the harvest time, but the only way to do that is to have a storage hopper of some kind. They will also buy two sewing machines for mending the cloths and later as the children get older they will train them in making clothes.

Another project we have asked about is painting the orphanage, which, as you can see in the photos, is a dull gray color. The painting will cost about $2000, so it may not be high on the priority list at the moment. We also sent them some mosquito nets in 2001. Recently the Apostolic Church of God 7th Day built 30 bunk beds with mattresses so that there is now more than just the mosquito nets to furnish their rooms. They also have said they would love more Bibles. We sent about 15 to them in 2001 along with some medications. The malaria and dysentery medication were very welcome.

Due to the language difficulties I don’t think it is possible to set up a long-term relationship without someone visiting the orphanage, and personally discussing with Pastor Chhunhranga these goals and plans. We are therefore considering sending a small delegation to Tahan. The dry period of January or February would be a good time to visit. It may also be better to wait till we have all the information from Canada before making any firm plans, and promises to Pastor Chhunhranga. Anybody wanting to form part of this contingent is most welcome; the cost would be about $2,500 per person, which would be paid for privately, and not from donations raised for the orphanage. Due to the cost I think a Feast visit with each of us using our Second Tithe could be appropriate. If anyone would like to talk with me about going this year please do so very quickly.

 — by Martin Storey

CESA, PO Box 548

Springwood QLD Australia 4127



Man Of The House


The husband had just finished reading the book “MAN OF THE HOUSE.”

He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said, “From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house, and my word is law!

“I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I’m finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert. Then, after dinner, you are going to draw me my bath so I can relax. And when I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?”

His wife replied, “The funeral director would be my guess.”

 — author unknown


News From India…


Dear brethren. Greetings.

I am forwarding the photo taken during solidarity meeting for the brothers and sisters affected by Katrina. We wanted to show our love and concern to the ones who have lost their relatives, properties, homes, and hope. Our prayers are with them always. Our children stand to show their concern by holding the light of hope, and we pray that New Orleans, Louisiana, and Alabama will become beautiful forever.

At this juncture, I wanted to mention this. You have always been generous and kind to help our ongoing charity programs for the orphaned and mentally challenged children, and other poverty alleviation programs. What I would request is that you all help in some way, the affected ones in this disaster of Katrina. My heart goes out to them. I am offering my prayers and good wishes, along with the children, for the people in Katrina catastrophe to reel back to their normal lives. Thanks and regards.

  — by M. R. Hubert

5 Budda Street

Madras 600024 India





I was in the express lane at the store. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the checkout line pushing a cart piled high with groceries.

The cashier beckoned the woman to come forward looked into the cart and asked, “So which six items would you like to buy?”

Imagine my delight!


Feast of Tabernacles…


Lake Texoma, OK

Our God Shall Judge!”


 “Our God Shall Judge!” was the theme of the Feast of Tabernacles this year at Lake Texoma, Oklahoma from October 18 to October 25, 2005. Outstanding sermons, and people filled with God’s Spirit made this year’s Feast the best one ever.

We had two cookouts by the lake; a paddleboat dinner cruise; cobbler and ice cream after one of the Bible Studies; and were entertained by a Sweet Adeline group, “Red River Valley Chorus,” and a quartet named “Tonacious” from Sherman, Texas.

Our numbers were up this year. Some day, we hope to meet YOU at our Feast of Tabernacles site.

See pictures below.

 — by Steven and Suzanne Kieler



            Barry, Tina, and Kayla Henry

     Donnie, Jenny, and Carolyn Williamson

           June Beaver and Kathy Gentry



            Lawrence and Janice Gregory

          Double Decker Dinner Cruise

             Allen Tritt and Steve Kieler


Of Interest…


Disappearing Words


I haven’t thought about “fender skirts” in years. When I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term. Made me think of a car in a dress.

Thinking about “fender skirts” started me thinking about other words that quietly disap­pear from our language with hardly a notice — like “curb feelers” and “steering knobs.” Since I’d been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first.

Remember “Continental kits?” They were rear bumper extenders, and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.

When did we quit calling them “emer­gency brakes?” At some point “parking brake” became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with emergency brake.

I’m sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the “foot feed.”

Did you ever wait at the street for your Daddy to come home, so you could ride the “running board” up to the house.

Here’s a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore — “store-bought.” Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging rights to have a store-bought dress, or a store-bought bag of candy.

“Coast to coast” is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement, and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term “worldwide” for granted.

This floors me. On a smaller scale, “wall-to-wall” was once a magical term in our homes. In the ‘50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with (WOW!) wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.

When is the last time you heard the quaint phrase “in a family way?” It’s hard to imagine that the word “pregnant” was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we talked about stork visits, “being in a family way,” or simply expecting”

It’s hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper — “divorce.” And no one is called a “divorcee” anymore, certainly not a “gay divorcee.”

Come to think of it, “confirmed bach­elors” and “career girls” are long gone, too. I always loved going to the “picture show,” but I considered “movie” an affec­tation. Most of these words go back to the ‘50s, but here’s a pure ‘60s word I came across the other day “rat fink.” Ooh, what a nasty put-down.

A word I miss — “percolator.” That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? “Coffeemaker.” How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like “DynaFlow” and “Electrolux.” Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with “SpectraVision!”

Food for thought — Did something wipe out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that’s what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren’t gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most is “supper.” Now everybody says “dinner.” Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.

Someone sent this to me, and I thought some of us of a “certain age” would remember many of these “old” words. How­ever, you may want to think twice before showing this (or sending this) to your kids, it might take quite awhile to explain all of these old words.

 — by author unknown




In Loving Memory


You never said, “I’m leaving.” You never said “goodbye.” You were gone before we knew it, and only God knew why. A million times we needed you, a million times we cried. If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died. In life we loved you dearly, in death we love you still. In our hearts you hold a place that no one could ever fill. It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn’t go alone. For part of us went with you, the day God took you home.

— by author unknown


True Tales to Live By…


What do We Live for?


A widowed single mother of two boys, like a lot of single mothers, struggled to make ends meet. In 1999, they moved out west, seeking a better life there. She and her boys packed everything up, lock, stock, and cat, and moved 1,500 miles away from all their family and friends.

Often they were lonely and homesick, but they also had reasons to be glad. They lived in a beautiful part of the country, and the mother finally found a satisfying job with a decent salary, and for the first time in her life, benefits. Still, there were a lot of debts to repay, and while she was making good progress toward that end, making ends meet was always a struggle.

About six months after beginning her new job, her stepmother called. The back pain her father had suffered with for six months was diagnosed as cancer that had metastasized from his prostate to his spine. Her Dad had survived earlier bouts of cancer, but this was a different story. Three weeks after the diagnosis, he was in the hospital, and it didn’t look good. Unfortunately, she was broke with no way to get the $600 she needed for plane tickets.

Management told her it had a policy not to lend money against future pay­checks. She undertook, but was terrified she wouldn’t get to see her Dad in time. One of her colleagues heard about her predicament. He called her to his office and asked what was going on. She told him, trying not to break down. He looked at her very calmly and said, “You have to go home; what will it take to get you there?”

Blinking at him a moment, not under­standing, she then explained. He wrote her a check for $1,000 to get them home, with extra for incidentals. He said there was nothing more important than family, and that she would regret it for the rest of her life if she didn’t go to her Dad. She quickly offered profuse thanks, assured him it was only a loan, and said she would pay him back as soon as she could.

The next day, the boys and her flew back East, and she was able to spend the last three weeks of her father’s life with him. It so much eased her grief to have that closure.

When she returned to work the week after his funeral, she again assured her benefactor that she would repay the loan as soon as possible.

But he would not hear of it. She was shocked. He said that it was a gift, his privilege for striving to be a good man in this world, and that he was happy to have been able to help her in her hour of need.

No words could express her gratitude for this unselfish gift of precious time with her father. She feels she can only honor her benefactor by seeking to follow his example. From that time on, the Mother tried to follow the words of the Bible that she had often read. “Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another,” Romans 12:14. She never forgot the generosity of that man where she worked and helped her with her problem.

She remembered the words of George Elliott she had heard. “What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.” In spite of her financial problem, she made it her purpose to be concerned about the problems of those with whom she worked and showed her concern by offering words of sympathy. There are times in my life when I have left undone something I could have done for someone. I think of the words of Marcus Aurelius, “A wrongdoer is a man that has left something undone, not always he that has done something.”

— by Skip Westphal



The Computer Swallowed Grandma


The computer swallowed grandma.

Yes, honestly it’s true.

She pressed ‘control’ and ‘enter’

And disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely,

The thought just makes me squirm.

She must have caught a virus

Or been eaten by a worm.


I’ve searched through the recycle bin

And files of every kind;

I’ve even used the Internet,

But nothing did I find.


In desperation, I asked Jeeves

My searches to refine.

The reply from him was negative,

Not a thing was found ‘online’.


So, if inside your ‘Inbox,’

My Grandma you should see,

Please ‘Copy’, ‘Scan’ and ‘Paste’ her

And send her back to me!

 — by author unknown